Pylon Track Project Site
Project site history
September 1997 Pylon Track Project
Dealing with Muraltia and Broom
Early in the group's formation, monthly working bees were held in different sites across Morialta and Black Hill Conservation Parks. The then district ranger John Watkins suggested we concentrate our efforts on selected sites, and a project coordinator was selected for each site. This site is at the bottom of the Pylon Track Gully and is a beautiful area, with a large range of flora. It is also the site for a rare plant for Morialta, being Hymenanthera dentata or the native tree violet. There are a number of plants in this site and weed control is mainly handpulling broom, and the odd olive, blowfly bush, gorse, muraltia and spraying of blackberry in order to protect habitat. I would urge anyone who has not yet visited the site to attend one of our working bees, even if it is to enjoy the location.
The Park in this area in spring is truly something to see, with the wealth of flowers in bloom, including a number of orchids. Unfortunately a phytophthera outbreak in the area means extra care needs to be taken to ensure infected material is not spread.
Pylon Track Project Report - 2019
The Pylon Track site is really looking well. All three watercourses have had work done in them, and follow up work this year. There is only a small area that still required primary weed control where there are a few olives remaining.
The photo to the right shows the amazing habitat at our last working bee in October. It is a high quality heathland vegetation association.
We saw a lot of evidence of Southern Brown Bandicoots activity.
We removed the last patch of Rhamnus at the October 2019 working bee.
Pylon Track Project Report - 2017Our only visit to the site this year was on 30 April. We started from the Third Falls track to follow up on the previous work carried out by the Green Army. We worked down the head of one of the creeks. We cut and swabbed blackberry, pulled African daisy, broom, boneseed, gorse etc. We noticed lots of maidenhair fern. My thanks to Liz, Garth, Davina, Ray & Jean and Senior Ranger Dave. Due to weather conditions or fire bans, we were unable to return for our usual October visit.
Pylon Track Project Report - 2016We made our first visit for the year to the site on 24 April. Rob and Ray sprayed blackberry bushes in the creek while the others dealt with weed control, working our way up the hill from the bottom of the gully. It was noticeable that weeds on the western side of the creek were few and far between, which might have been due to the somewhat dry conditions. I expect it will probably be different in October when we next visit.
And it was! We visited the site again on 30 October to find the bush looking quite lush due to the good winter rains. We undertook some hand weeding, while Ray again sprayed blackberries further up the creek. There was very little broom to be seen. John carried out a survey of blackberries but again there was very little to be found due to earlier work. Some native orchids were seen, Glossodia major and Caladenia tentaculata. Ray has subsequently advised that the spraying he did on that day has been quite successful and he was planning to do some further work shortly. My thanks to Ray and Jean, John, Russell, Rob, Liz, Holly, Karen, and Tegan and others for their help this year.
Ann Taylor Project
2014 Project ReportWe visited the site on 27 April and it was noticeable how little broom was growing in the core site, which is at the bottom of the gully and is bounded by the fire track, the hill and the creek. Some very small plants were found at the top of the creek banks and in the creek. We then proceeded to the other side of the creek and pulled more plants there. Ray and Jean White discovered a pittosporum shrub, which they plan to remove on our next visit in October. My thanks to Liz, Ray and Jean and Bruce and Joy for their help.
2013 Project ReportWe have had two visits to the Pylon Track since the last report.
On 25 November 2012 we removed broom, African daisy, boneseed, olive, ixia, as well as removing two Erica plants and some Murialta. The broom is now mainly on the other side of the creek. John also relocated the rare Sphaerolobium minus and the Gompholobium as it is planned for the fire track to be upgraded.
My thanks to John, Russell, Garth, Liz, Heather, and Ray and Jean.
The next visit was on 27 October 2013 when we removed plants of the feral orchid Monadenia, as well as removing flower stalks from an outbreak of Watsonia at the junction of the Pylon Track and the Third Falls Track. It was noted that the ixia plants have not returned in this area after we pulled them last year. A good win!
We then proceeded down to the bottom of the gully where we removed Gladiolus plants and hand-pulled broom (which was mostly quite small) and the odd hawthorn seedling. Also cut & swabbed or pulled some Muraltia plants.
The park was looking lovely with flowering tea tree, Goodenia blackiana, Dillwynia sericea, Pultenea acerosa, lots of Caladenia tentaculata and onion orchids.
Thanks to John, John, Ray and Jean.
2012 Project ReportThe first working bee was held on 28 November 2011 where we hand-pulled broom, as well as olive and boneseed. An outbreak of Erica was discovered further up the creek, which was cut and swabbed by Russell and John.
The next working bee, which was planned for Sunday 22 April 2012 was cancelled to avoid the spread of Phytophthora as there had been heavy rain overnight. We re-scheduled the working bee for April to 22 July and fortunately the weather was fine. We hand-pulled broom, as well as olive, boneseed, African daisy and hawthorn. We dug out bulbs of the exotic Gladiolus and found many of these plants on the other side of the creek at the bottom of the gully. I feel we are getting on top the Montpellier broom but a new threat is emerging with the Gladiolus plants.
My thanks to Liz, John, Russell Graham and Raelene for their assistance.
2011 Project ReportWe visited the Pylon Track project site on Sunday 28 November 2010 by driving along the Third Falls Track from Moore's Road and then walking down to the bottom of the gully from the southern end of the Pylon Track; the track is too eroded for safe driving. We mainly hand-pulled broom on the eastern side of the track; it is noticeable that we now start this work further away from the track. This time we proceeded further along the creek and unfortunately found an outbreak of Erica by and in the creek, which we cut and swabbed as best as we could. Graham and Raelene also dealt with broom on the other side of the creek. My thanks to John, Russell, Graham and Raelene.
Our next working bee was on 24 April 2011 when we hand-pulled broom and other weeds, such as African daisy, boneseed, olive etc. The core site on the eastern side of the fire track and bounded by the hill and the creek is mainly free of broom now. It just shows what persistence can do! John and Russell dealt with an outbreak of Erica along the creek, while Bec and I crossed the creek and found more broom and other weeds to deal with. My thanks to John, Russell and Bek.
Pylon Track Project Co-ordinator
2010 Project Report
September 1997 Pylon Track Project
Dealing with Muraltia and Broom
Sunday 29 November 2009
This time we walked to the core of the project site at the bottom of the Pylon Track gully. On the way we discovered the tiny native violet near the junction of the Pylon Track and the Central Track. We then located the Sphaerolobium minus, a rare plant for Morialta, further down the track. It was noticed that it had quite a woody root. - it's growing in the embankment, which is eroding away.
On reaching the bottom of the gully, we hand-pulled weeds, mainly broom, some of which had set seed pods. This we piled into heaps. John also dealt with Wonga vine, which I had located on our last visit. We also found some hyacinth orchids. On the western side of the creek, the Goodenia ovata was growing like a jungle after the fire. On the way back, John discovered a Persoonia juniperia or Geebung, which was in flower. Some more plants were found in an area between Moores Road and the buffer track. It was a very rewarding visit. My thanks to John Fleming and Russell Dahms for their assistance.
Sunday, 24 April 2010.
We walked along the Third Falls Track and down to the bottom of the Pylon Track Gully via the southern end of the fire track. We hand-pulled mainly broom and other weeds. A Persoonis juniperia (Geebung) was discovered in the core area between the track and the creek. It was noticed that the common heath, Epacris impressa was also in flower, which seems a little early as this normally flowers from early winter to early spring. Our persistence over the years is really having an effect on the incidence of broom in this area between the track and the creek.
My thanks to Russell and John and new member Mieke, for their support.
Ann - Pylon Track Project Coordinator.
2009 Project Report10 May 2009 - we proceeded to the bottom of the Pylon Track gully, which is the main project site. We hand pulled broom and other weeds, while Graham dealt with woody weeds, such as rhamnus (blowfly bush) and blackberry. Gladiolus was also wiped with herbicide along the creek line. We located two native tree violet plants (Hymenanthera dentata) on the western side of the fire track, which had originally been badly scorched in the control burn in October 2007; these are now regrowing. It is remarkable to see the way the bush recovers after a fire, with the regeneration of the understorey and the gum trees reshooting. My thanks to Graham & Raelene, John and Russell for their support. Our next working bee will take place in November.
Ann - Pylon Track Project Co-ordinator
2008 Project ReportOn 25 November 2007 we attended our first working bee in this area for 18 months. Our intention was to inspect the site after a control burn on 14 October, on the western side of the Pylon Track, which escaped on to the main project site and burnt some 40 hectares. A lot of regrowth has already occurred but I was very relieved to find that the main part of the site at the bottom of the gully between the fire track and the creek was mainly unburnt. At least 10 native tree violet (Hymenanthera dentata) plants have been discovered in this area and these plants are rare for Morialta. The area burnt is bounded by Moores Road, Third Falls Track, Twin Creek Track and Centre Fire Track, with the Pylon Track running through the middle from the Centre Fire Track to Third Falls Track.
We earlier stopped halfway down the track into the gully and rediscovered another very rare plant for Morialta - Sphaerolobium minus or bitter leaf pea. This was growing on the edge of the bank and had also escaped the fire. This plant was unknown for Morialta until discovered by the Friends some two years ago.
We had not planned to do any work as we thought the area may have been burnt but we were able to handpull broom and remove a number of wild gladiolus plants. Several photographs were taken and we will regularly monitor the progress of regeneration after the fire.
My thanks to Senior Ranger Tammy Leggett, John, Lola, Russell, Graham, Raelene, Bruce, Joy and Phil for their attendance and assistance with transport.
On 27 April 2008 I visited the Pylon Track project site with President John Fleming. Starting. From Moores Road, we followed the Third Falls track and then the Pylon Track from the southern end. The regrowth after the control burn is remarkable, with many plants either regrowing after being burnt or new seedlings appearing. At the bottom of the Pylon Track gully, I located one of the rare plants, Hymenanthera dentata, which had been scorched during the burn and was now regrowing from the base. This adds to our knowledge of how native plants regenerate after fire, particularly the Hymenanthera as it was not known whether this would recover. John also located the rare plant, Sphaerolobium minus on the edge of the Pylon Track. This plant at this time of year is a bare, wiry stalk. It does not have any leaves. Well done, John!
Ann - Project Co-ordinator
2007 Project ReportUnfortunately, although working bees were planned for the Pylon Track, the 26 November 2006 was cancelled due to the very dry season and difficulty in evacuating this remote area should a bushfire break out; while the 29 April 2007 working bee was cancelled due to the wonderful break in the season on 26 April and the possibility of flooding!
Ann - Project Co-ordinator
2006 Project Report
Our first workng bee was held on 27 November 2005, when I was somewhat concerned about access to the bottom of the gully due to the deluge on 7/8 November 2005. I made a reconnaissance trip prior to the working bee to ensure that we could safely access the site. Some erosion had occurred to the track but fortunately it was still accessible with care.
We began by pulling Muraltia around the pylons on Central Track near the junction of the Pylon Track an outbreak of Phytophthora cinnamomi was also identified nearby and marked.
We then proceeded to the bottom of the gully by 4 wheel drive vehicles, where we hand pulled many broom, as well as the odd olive, boneseed and hawthorn on this occassion, on the other side of the creek. Ranger Eric also brought along a tree popper, which was a useful tool for removing the larger plants.
Some of us continued walking eastwards up the gully, spot weeding as we went, and also cutting and swabbing a large olive. Not far from this spot, we discovered an enormous patch of maidenhair fern.
The area on the eastern side of the track between the track and the creek, which crosses the track and runs approximately east/west, is where we hae mainly worked in the past few years; this is now looking quite different, with most of the broom gone, thus apparently allowing the bracken to flourish.
Three of us were briefly lost in our search for a pair of loppers and gloves, which had been left near the large olove, which we had cut and swabbed earlier. Once we realised we were on the wrong side of a short tributary to the main creek, we were able to find out way back to the Pylon Track, where the cars were parked. A new plant was also discovered by John growing at the northern end of the Pylon Track, it has been itentified as Sphaerolobium minus or bitter leaf pea. This has been reported to the State Biodiversity Centre.
A second working bee was held on 26 February attended by Graham and myself. Graham sprayed blackberries around the pylons on the Central Track and on both sides of the Pylon Track along the creek, while I hand pulled mainly broom on the eastern side of the Pylon Track, and also removed, by cutting and swabbing with herbicide, young olive trees and hawthorns. I then noticed a young apple seedling, which happened to be growing in an inch ants nest! Graham quickly removed he seedling and we beat a hasty retreat from the site before they attacked.
My thanks to Graham, Lola, Bruce and Joy, John and Ranger Eric for attending the 2006 working bees.
Ann - Project Coordinator
2005 Project ReportTwo working bees were held in the part twelve months - one on Sunday 28 November 2004, where we first stopped at the pylon on the Central Track near the northern junction of the Pylon Track, where Graham sprayed the blackberry regrowth under the pylon. On the other side of the Centreal Track a Styllidium graminifolium - grass trigger plant - was discovered; this plant is over 30cm tall; we cut and swabbed blackberry regrowth in the shallow gully at the northern end of the Pylon Track. After this wer proceeded to the main project site in the bottom of the Pylon Track gully, where Graham again sprayed blackberry along the creek line, while the rest of us mostly pulled Broom, Olive, Boneseed etc. Another two plants of the native tree violet, Hymenanthera dentata were discovered.
The second working bee was held on 27 February 2005 with similar work being undertaken to the November working bee.
My thanks to all those who attended the working bees, namely Graham and Raelene, Bruce and Joy, Lola and John.
Ann - Project Coordinator
2004 Project ReportThe first working bee for two years for this site was held on Sunday 30 November 2003. It was a very successful day, with a total of 8 people attending. To reach the Pylon Track, we walked along Moores Road, then the Central Track. There were plenty of wildflowers in bloom, such as woolly rice flower (Pimelea octophylla), Gompholobium, guinea flower (Hibbertia), Goodenia, Tetratheca pilosa, Billy Buttons (Craspedia) to name a few. Hand pulling of broom was undertaken at the bottom of the Pylon Track gully, with the odd Boneseed, Olive and Blackberry also being removed in the gully, as well as en route. The walk down the gullt fire track may be steep but I believe those attending thought it was all worthwhile to see an isolated part of the park, which is a beautiful tranquil area. Yellow-tail black cockatoos could also be heard calling.
We returned by the Third Falls track, locating and removing the feral orchid Monadenia as well as Muraltia.
Having been inspired by seeing this area for the first time, Graham suggested an extra working bee, which took place on 22 February 2004, when we traveled by vehicle and thus were able to spend more time removing those pesky broom plants.
I would especially like to thank Graham, who also undertook some additional spraying of blackberry and others for their support. I was beginning to think that I might have to abandon this project, but scheduling this working bee in November and travelling in by vehicle has certainly made it easier for members to attend. This is a project that is achievable and it would be a pity for it to become degraded by not keeping the broom under control.
2001 Project ReportRegretfully, the annual visit to the Pylon Track was not made during 2001 owing to the project area being within the boundaries of the closed area ofMorialta Conservation Park, the area being closed because of the outbreak of the root fungus disease Phytopthora cinnamomi.
Ann Taylor - Project Coordinator
2000 Project ReportOn Sunday, 24 th September the yearly visit was made to my poject area on the Pylon Track, Morialta Conservation Park. We began by undertaking a nature walk along the fire track parallel to Moores Road turning south along the Centre Track.
The park is ablaze with Golden bush-pea (Pultenaea daphnoides) and white flowering (Hakea rostrata) which has a sweet perfume. We noticed a number of Donkey orchids and were fortunate to find an early flowering Fire orchid (Burnettia nigricans). Greenhood orchids were also seen (both Pterostylis pedunculata and P. nutans). I believe the orchid flowering season is a little late this year due to the long cold wet winter. Also seen in flower were:
- Grevillea (Grevillea lavandulacea)
- Tall sundew (Drosera auriculata)
- Pink-eyed Susan (Tetratheca pilosa)
- Candle flower (Stackhousia sp.)
- Rice flower (Pimelea sp.)
- Fringe myrtle (Calytrix tetragona)
- Leucopogon sp
- Hand flower (Cheiranthera alternifolia)
- Gorse Bitter- pea (Daviesia sp)
- Red parrot-pea (Dillwynia sp.)
- Ruiming postman (Kennedia prostrata)
- Native primrose (Goodenia sp)
- Billy Buttons (Craspedia glauca)
- Milkmaids (Burchardia umbellata)
- Blue Grass Lily (Caesia calliantha)
- Yacca (Xanthorrhoea semiplana)
On reaching the project area at the bottom of the Pylon Track gully, the area adjacent the track seemed to be quite clear of Broom and has been for some metres. As we neared the creek we found a fairly heavy infestation which was then hand pulled. There is also some regrowth of Blackberry which will require spraying.
I would like to thank Helen, Brian and Kathryn for their company and help. I am sure they enjoyed the day as much as I did.
Ann - Projed Cordinator.
1999 Project ReportOn Sunday 26th September I was accompanied by new member, Arthur for the annual working bee on the Pylon Track. This year we concentrated on the area between the eastern side of the track and the creek. We pulled mainly broom plants, which were in bud or flowering, making it easier for Arthur to identify. The odd seedling olive, boneseed and African Daisy were also removed.
It was a lovely sunny day and once again the wildflowers are blooming, truly nature's garden. I would like to extend my thanks to Arthur for his help.
Ann - Project Coordinator
1997 Project Report
September 1997 Pylon Track Project
Dealing with Muraltia and Broom
On Sunday, 28th September 1997 we made our yearly vist to my project area at the bottom of the gully on the Pylon Track, Morialta Conservation Park.
We have began with removing some seeding Muraltia adjacent to the pylon on the Central Track, together with some Blackberry. We then proceeded to the project area and tackled a large patch of young Broom and successfully removed it by hand pulling.
The park was wearing its spring finery, although it was noted that flowering is a little late this year. A number of Donkey orchids Diuris pardina were seen as we proceeded to the start of the Pylon Track, while a few Maroon hoods Pterostylis pedunculata were seen in the project area.
I would like to thank Bruce, Erica, Joy, Bruce, Lee and Zoe for their help.
updated 21 January 2020
2019 work reports added
Top of page